Could I gain knowledge of the civet through our shared biological processes?
Maybe with the help of a coffee cherry.
Through the medium of art, literature, storytelling and ethnography, we collectively explore the shared heritage held between humans and animals within global commodity chains. Specifically, we investigate kopi luwak, the world’s most expensive coffee, traditionally produced from the excrement of civets.
With the rise of capitalism, civets’ relationships to humans have been transformed from one of fleeting local encounters to being an exploited other, as commodifiable goods and cultural symbols. Increasingly confined for industrialized kopi luwak production and tourism, civets find themselves ensnared within a politically and economically driven world of human-civet domination.
As an interdisciplinary collaboration between anthrozoologists and visual artists, we seek to problematize the commodification of wild animals and their “products”. Our collaborative work traverse the concept of “becoming with” another species by instrumentalizing our own human bodies. By uilizing that in which we physically share with civets we attempt to create a new form of storytelling where the animals' perspectives are observed through our shared biological processes.
On the one hand, explicitly addressing these concerns brings possibilities of positive social change for multi-species coexistence. On the other, our chosen method of multispecies storytelling brings about the need for further ethical consideration.
I instinctively pick one.
My teeth pierces the skin, it is bitter.
There I start selecting, cleaning, peeling, counting.
I'm analytical, calculative, a bit concerned if I will be able to digest this.
We pace back and forth between where we eat and where we shit.
I came across half of the planet, disguised as a tourist to become closer with you.
One must form conclusions with delicacy.
Consumptionism pushes the civet to transgress from wild animal towards a biomechanical, mouth to anus, production line